On Saturday, the Bills signed Colts defensive tackle Larry Tripplett to fill some of the biggest shoes in the NFL -- those of the huge Sam Adams who was released as a cap casualty. But Adams was also a casualty for the very same reason that Tripplett was brought in; the Bills are switching their defensive scheme for the 2006 season.
There was little doubt that the he Bills needed a new approach and some new talent after finishing 2005 with the fourth-worst defense in the league that yielded 343.5 yards per game.
Under new head coach Dick Jauron, the Bills will be running a defense similar to Indianapolis' Cover 2. As a result, Adams was a liability in a scheme that calls for quick defensive linemen with good footwork that can explode through gaps and create disruption. Adams was more of a clog-up-the-middle run-stuffing defensive tackle.
Enter Tripplett, whose experience in that style of defense and physical build has created the opportunity to be an every-down player in Buffalo.
"Larry has played well in the style of defense that we are going to be playing here," Bills general manager Marv Levy said. "He has a great motor and plays hard on every down. He keeps going and going and that is the essence of our defensive approach."
Tripplett, despite being a reserve with the Colts, has already been penciled in as the starting left defensive tackle. Barring another signing, he'll be paired up with third-year player Tim Anderson out of Ohio State, who just claimed the starter's role at his spot in early October last year.
"It feels good to be part of an organization like Buffalo, said Tripplett. "I'm excited that Buffalo had the interest that they did in me."
Tripplett posted 37 tackles and four sacks in 2005 for Indianapolis. He had four sacks, a forced fumble, and recovered a pair of fumbles -- including one that he returned for a touchdown. His new contract with the Bills is reportedly a five-year, $18 million deal that included a $5.5 million signing bonus.
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